Dr. Janet Memark, health director at Cobb and Douglas Public Health, released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
Cobb & Douglas Public Health is issuing a public health alert due to a substantial rise in daily confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Cobb and Douglas counties.
Residents are strongly encouraged to follow public health guidelines, particularly as we approach the July 4th holiday weekend.
There is evidence of increased transmission throughout our community, outside of additional testing access, as supported by positivity rates at our testing sites that have surpassed 10%.
This trend has been on an upward trajectory over the last few weeks. Last week, we saw the highest number of reported cases in our district since the pandemic began. There has been a shift in those people predominantly affected to a younger age group (e.g., 20-40 years of age) as compared to the 50-70 year olds that we witnessed in April and May.
COVID-19-related 911 calls, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and need for ICU beds have all increased throughout the district, and many of those patients are in the younger age groups, as well. Fortunately, our death rate appears to continue to decline. We believe that this is primarily due to the younger, healthier people being infected and generally able to recover, and due to the experience of our healthcare systems in treating this virus.
There are currently over 300 businesses who have been directly affected by COVID-19 throughout Cobb and Douglas counties in the past few weeks and 75 outbreaks are currently being investigated by our epidemiology teams (and those are only the ones reported to public health).
Cobb & Douglas Public Health STRONGLY advises that the medically-fragile and elderly continue to shelter in place as much as possible and only go out for essential services (e.g., medical care, food) through at least July 15, 2020 and monitor conditions before returning to normal activities.
Additionally, EVERYONE should:
♦ Frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer,
♦ Stand 6 feet away from others when outside their home,
♦ Wear cloth masks when social distancing is not consistently possible,
♦ Stay at home when you are sick,
♦ Continue to frequently disinfect your home and business, and
♦ Avoid large gatherings (of more than 50 people).